Tonight’s episode of Poldark season five continued George Warleggan’s (played by Jack Farthing) descent into madness as he was forced by his uncle into receiving painful and shocking treatments for his mental health “affliction”.
It was common for the 18th and 19th Century for people suffering to endure such things, and even when Dwight Enys (Luke Norris) entered the Trenwith estate horrified to see George sporting leech bruises, the former villain’s uncle insisted it was to rid him of animal spirits.
George is actually experiencing hallucinations of his dead wife Elizabeth Warleggan (Heida Reed), who died in the BBC period drama’s season four finale.
Suffering with immense grief and loss of the only woman he ever loved, George has been struggling to cope every since.
Luckily, Dwight appeared just as George was about to throw himself off a Cornish cliff, and grabbed him back on to dry land.
“Why did you do that?” the concerned doctor asked. “I thought you were about to fall.”
“Would it matter?” George said sadly, as Dwight took him home and proceeded to launch into accusations against the old-world doctor and George’s uncle.
Furious with the pair’s handling of the situation, Dwight spat: “Sir George is clearly suffering from the acute suffering at the loss of a beloved wife.
“What he needs is patience, understanding and kindness.”
“The only lunatic in this room is there,” Dwight then declared.
“For the sake of your nephew I beg you dispense of these brews,” the doctor begged. “These methods will induce madness, not cure it.
Flocking to Twitter, viewers shared their thoughts on George’s character twist, with many unsure how to feel about the once villain.
“People shocked at the methods used on George on #Poldark tonight, sadly those methods continued to be used right up into the 20th century, this is just one reason why investing in mental health is so important,” one person commented.
Another shared: “I can’t believe I actually found myself screaming ‘Nooo George!!!’ at the TV tonight #Poldark.”
“But I remembered all the vile things he’s done and I got up off the sofa and tried to push him off that cliff. Excellent work Jack Farthing, you nuanced ambiguous 3-dimensional villain! #poldark,” a third posted.
While a fourth said: “George won my heart last season, but the troubled soul that he has always been, has broken our hearts tonight #Poldark.”
“Almost feel sorry for heir George Warleggan… Almost. #poldark,” a fifth shared.
And a sixth asked: “Er so I’m watching #Poldark & I’m feeling sorry for George, what should I do?!”
One fan had a completely separate guess about what’s to come, as they put forward: “#Prediction = Ned bites the dust before the end of the series, doing something reckless. Ross will heed that lesson and fly right. #Poldark.”
Poldark season five continues Sundays at 9pm on BBC One.